Category Archives: Our Forever Home

Bathroom Countertop Updates

Eventually, we would like to do full updates to our home’s full bathrooms, but in the meantime, we decided to replace the countertops in our main-floor bathroom and our master bathroom. I was forever frustrated with the original countertops – textured laminate!

BEFORE: textured laminate

I knew I wanted a marble or quartz, because I don’t care for granite. I also knew I wanted a light color for the bathrooms. We looked at a lot of slabs before deciding on Stephanie Carrera quartz. I thought it was a pretty good marble-look-alike, but with the low maintenance of quartz. Other than the stone choice I didn’t have strong opinions, so I let Bradley choose the finish, edge and sink shape. He chose a honed finish with 1/8 round edges and rectangular under-mount sinks. I am very pleased with how they turned out.

Master Bathroom Vanity

I had purchased faucets not long after we moved in anticipating changing them out some day. These polished nickel 8″ widespread faucets are from Martha Stewart’s Seal Harbor collection. I thought the widespread would allow for easier cleaning and the tall gooseneck would leave plenty of room in the sink basin. I’m very happy with how they look.

Main Floor Bathroom Vanity

Eventually, I would like to replace all of our vanities with slightly taller ones that have more of a furniture feel. In our two guest bathrooms this will necessitate replacing the floor tiles, and it would make sense to redo the shower wall tile at the same time. At that point we would also replace the original toilets. In the main floor bathroom, I would also like to eventually replace the drywall to get rid of the texture on the walls. It is a rabbit hole I was not prepared to tackle at this point, so for now – countertops it is!

A last minute add-on I made was encasing the foot prop in our shower. We remodeled and expanded our master shower a few years ago, and I’ve always hated how the tile had to be laid to give the corner “bench” a finished edge, so I had them completely cover it with the same quartz.

Guest Area Updates

I’ve made a few changes since my last posts about our guest bedroom and spare bedroom. I finally made some quick new shots of the rooms this weekend.

Guest Bedroom

I moved the crystal lamps from the den to the guest bedroom when we rearranged the den several years ago. I also replaced the undersized lamp shades with new white cotton ones from Pier 1.

Spare Bedroom

In the spare bedroom, I replaced the cheap square side table with nesting tables that no longer worked in the living room. Unpictured – we also moved the Oxford bookcase with glass doors into this room. It holds overflow books and toys for our friends’ kids that visit. Bradley’s grandfather also gave us an antique rocking chair that sits in the corner.

Guest Bathroom

I lightened up the guest bathroom with new paint (Requisite Grey by Sherwin Williams mixed at 50%) and a white shower curtain. For a little color, I painted the vanity Anchors Aweigh by Sherwin Williams mixed at 150%.

Living Room Coffee Table

I finally found the vintage coffee table I’ve been searching for over the last year. The woman I purchased the dresser for this room from offered to keep an eye out for this table, but I wasn’t holding my breath because she had never seen anything like it before. Last weekend, I got an email from her that she had found one at a furniture re-seller in Atlanta that primarily deals in mid-century designs.

I fretted right up to the moment we got there when they opened on Sunday at 11:00 am, hoping that no one had purchased it overnight. Luckily not, and now it is mine! And for a fraction of what I feared it might cost. This table is skinny, half the width of our old coffee table, and it fits the scale of the other furniture pieces I’ve chosen for this room. The marble top ties into the round side tables, and the caned shelf ties into the sides of the arm chairs and the wooden end tables on the left side.

I think the only thing left to find for this room is a rug. We have been pleased with the Ruggable rug we got for the den recently, so I think we will go that direction again if I can find a pattern I like.

Den Updates

At the end of 2018, we started our search for a new sectional for the den. The recliners we’ve had for the last five years were comfortable, but we had to keep them so far out from the wall so that they could lean back, the room looked a little ridiculous. And the mass of cords visible behind them was an eyesore.

Before and After

Bradley has always wanted a sectional, and I agreed it would be nice to have a couple extra seats in the room, but I never saw a sectional that was shaped right for our room, that also had a recliner built in. I did not want to lose the reclining function, but Bradley is fine with an ottoman.

We learned that the furniture store from which we purchased our other sofas offers customizable sectionals, we knew it was the answer. I measured the room and found that they had a configuration that would fit perfectly into the space.

The hard part was picking out the fabric. I’ve hated doing that for each piece we’ve purchased and I agonize over it. If you ask me, I could have sworn I chose a darker fabric for more of a contrast in the room, but I guess it’s just those darn tiny swatches playing tricks on me.

We went ahead and sprung for an ottoman while we were at it. It’s good for Bradley to prop up his feet or to put a tray on to corral things.

The slipper chairs were already in the room. They were just a clearance find at Target to give us a couple of extra seats in the room. The rug is also a new addition. I found it online from a site called ruggable.com – they are machine washable! We will see how it does, but for now we love it. It was the perfect find for the room that we hang out in the most and where the dogs spend a lot of their time.

Another small addition were these adorable vintage-inspired green milkglass pieces that I got at Hobby Lobby. I mixed them in on the bookshelves that flank the fireplace just for little pops of color and texture. Finishing touches are always the most difficult part of decorating to me.

Living Room updates

Over the last four years, I’ve been working towards getting furniture for our living room that better fits the space.  Last year, I added two vintage armchairs and we changed out the loveseat and sofa we had been given to a pair of matching petite loveseats.  The front end of the room was empty-feeling, so I brainstormed some ways to add visual weight to that side of the room.  The exterior side wall has an off-center window, so I wanted something to balance the window without adding too much visual weight.  I found a gold and glass etagere on Ballard Designs that I loved, but it was more than I wanted to spend.  After a little research, I found a piece that looks just like it for a fraction of the cost on Amazon.

To fill out the space under the front windows, I decided to find a vintage credenza or dresser.  Mid-century style furniture tended to sit lower to the ground and it was easier to find wider options in this style as well.  This 9-drawer dresser was the perfect size for this spot, not too deep so it does not block the walking path and not too high so it doesn’t block the bottom of the windows.

The final piece I need  to replace in this space is the coffee table.  Our current one was an inexpensive Craigslist find when we first moved in, just to get something in the space.  It works fine, but with our furniture being more petite now, it feels a little big and heavy.

I’ve been searching for inspiration, and finally came across a picture of this vintage coffee table I love.  The problem will be finding one for sale and determining if it is more that I would want to spend.  The stone top would tie into the side tables and the caned shelf would go really well with my armchairs.

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